Syllabus for Waves and Optics

Vågor och optik

A revised version of the syllabus is available.

  • 5 credits
  • Course code: 1FA522
  • Education cycle: First cycle
  • Main field(s) of study and in-depth level: Physics G2F

    Explanation of codes

    The code indicates the education cycle and in-depth level of the course in relation to other courses within the same main field of study according to the requirements for general degrees:

    First cycle

    • G1N: has only upper-secondary level entry requirements
    • G1F: has less than 60 credits in first-cycle course/s as entry requirements
    • G1E: contains specially designed degree project for Higher Education Diploma
    • G2F: has at least 60 credits in first-cycle course/s as entry requirements
    • G2E: has at least 60 credits in first-cycle course/s as entry requirements, contains degree project for Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science
    • GXX: in-depth level of the course cannot be classified

    Second cycle

    • A1N: has only first-cycle course/s as entry requirements
    • A1F: has second-cycle course/s as entry requirements
    • A1E: contains degree project for Master of Arts/Master of Science (60 credits)
    • A2E: contains degree project for Master of Arts/Master of Science (120 credits)
    • AXX: in-depth level of the course cannot be classified

  • Grading system: Fail (U), Pass (3), Pass with credit (4), Pass with distinction (5)
  • Established: 2008-03-18
  • Established by:
  • Revised: 2019-11-08
  • Revised by: The Faculty Board of Science and Technology
  • Applies from: Spring 2020
  • Entry requirements:

    Mechanics II/Electrical Power Transmission Systems/ Mechanics KF/Applied Mechanics I and Basics of Electrical Engineering III: Field Theory/Electromagnetism I/Electromagnetism. Electromagnetism can be studied simultaneously.

  • Responsible department: Department of Physics and Astronomy

Learning outcomes

On completion of the course, the student should be able to:

  • account for fundamental quantities for waves and optics.
  • identify, illustrate and explain physical concepts in waves and optics.
  • describe and discuss technical applications of simple optical instruments.
  • solve problems using suitable models, assumptions and approximations as well as be able to assess the results.
  • plan and conduct simple experiments and give an oral and a written presentation of the results.


Short repetition of basic concepts within wave physics, mechanical/acoustical waves: superposition, standing waves, beats, Doppler effect. Electromagnetic waves and optics: reflection, refraction, dispersion, phase and group velocity, Geometrical optics, optical instruments. Polarisation, optical activity, birefringence. Interference. Fraunhofer and Fresnel diffraction. Holography. Examples of radiation sources. Overview of manufacturing of optical components using modern technology.

Laboratory exercises in ray optics, wave optics, interference, polarisation. Project assignment and mandatory hand-in exercises in optics.


Lectures, exercise groups, laboratory exercises (attendance is mandatory), and project assignments. Guest lecture.


Written examination at the end of the course (4 credits ). Laboratory exercises with written and oral reports (1 credit).

If there are special reasons for doing so, an examiner may make an exception from the method of assessment indicated and allow a student to be assessed by another method. An example of special reasons might be a certificate regarding special pedagogical support from the disability coordinator of the university.

Reading list

The reading list is missing. For further information, please contact the responsible department.